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Archive for March, 2009

Her father takes the call. With a shaky voice, she begins,  “Well, I kinda had an accident.”

After establishing that she is okay, and talking calmly to assure her, my husband phones me.

“Give her a call. I think she’d like to talk to her mommy.”

Parenting continues long after the little ones have grown and left the nest. We get phone calls asking for recipes, telling us the latest saga in the learning curve of becoming an adult.  Sometimes long after the fact, we hear of emergency trips to hospital for gall stones, romance won and lost, and occasionally news of how they are doing at school. We never want to hear about car crashes.

Since my name is on her auto policy while at school, we field the confusing maze of details while our daughter deals with the claims adjuster and finding transport to class and work after a car accident. We are grateful neither driver is injured, but frustrated we can do little to help in the initial trauma. This is her first accident and she is upset.

Her agony arises from the scare of the accident itself and from the fact that her beautiful car is crunched badly.

“I haven’t even had it a year and I still owe the bank…”

She is doubly upset that she is at fault, but she assures us that she was not on the cell phone in any way. Funny thing is that she was on her way to pay a parking ticket. The officer appreciates the humor of that and agrees to take the ticket and payment in for her.

She drives away in her crunched car.  It refuses to start the next day. The accident had deployed both airbags and knocked off the belt responsible for recharging her battery besides the other damage. She borrows cars, and hitches rides with friends while waiting to see how much or how little will be left after the huge deductible we carry and the balance at the bank.

“I don’t want to get an old junky car.”

Her first car cost $500, older than she was, had a bad radio, looked a little sad with dents and a bit of rust, and gave her grief with needed repairs. Her friends all refused to travel with her if her car was the only one available. This latest car is a Dodge Intrepid and only 12 years old.

Joyfully, the long awaited call from the claims department gives our daughter a good driver discount on that huge deductible plus attributes full value to her destroyed car.  She won’t have to drive an old junky car. The memories of her first car can stay safely in the past and her parents can breath easy once again.

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